Thin Client or Rich Client Install For Mobile PCs: Which Do You Prefer?

Loren Heiny has posted a great conversation starter on The Incremental Blogger about the dangers/pitfalls/blind alleys one can run into by installing Rich Client apps that bundle features and even other applications into the install. Loren finds it difficult to recommend these apps to family and friends knowing the problems they will run into (and the calls he will get to help straighten things out.)

“Increasingly these demo or free apps are bundled with other “stuff.” In some cases, the “other” stuff is innocuous. However, sometimes it can lead to another mess and a panicked phone call helping the person restore their system to the way it was before. For instance, browsers are so important to the way that many of my friends and family work and connect with the world, that if an app makes any change to their browser that isn’t absolutely necessary, the program goes on my don’t-recommend-list. (By the way, a mess is growing around apps that launch on start-up too. So my black list may be growing even larger.)”


I find these bundling buddies and CRAPWARE carnivores to be especially troubling on mobile pcs where you are already making some compromises by choosing a mobile route. With the push behind Web 2.0 being Internet based software and less client apps does that offer a possible solution, or just a panacea? I’ve run away from a number of apps because of all the stuff they spew all over my system. I’m curious to know what you think. Do you have a blacklist of apps you stay away from? Would you rather have small client options when possible?